On Apple’s iPhone 4S Announcement

October 4, 2011

My predictions were largely correct (no iPhone 5, 4s instead, Sprint, iPhone price drop, iPod Touch price drop), with the exception of a new phone design and killing the iPod Shuffle and iPod Classic.

So… even with scaled-back expectations, there was some disappointment as I watched various blog posts auto-update. And watching the streaming keynote¬†later, didn’t really make a difference.

It’s not that the iPhone 4S isn’t a great smart phone; it is. It’s other things: first, the presentation was lacking the Steve Jobs, reality distortion field, passionate sell. Tim Cook did a perfectly serviceable job, but he was frankly, a bit dull, reminiscent of a college professor at times, and my attention drifted off several times. In terms of delivery, Bezos’ confident Jobs-esque Kindle Fire launch¬†was better.

Second, the vast majority of the stuff presented was a rehash of WWDC. The only new thing was Siri voice control, but frankly, it doesn’t look like a must have, world-changing feature. The “beta” moniker makes me think it’s not totally ready for prime time. And my lack of “gotta have it” interest may be due to the sans-Jobs situation.

Basically, the iPhone 4S pitch didn’t work on me. iOS 5 on the iPhone 4 will tide me over until the iPhone 5 shows up.

Now – none of this is to say Apple is in any trouble whatsoever. The iPhone 4S will still sell millions, largely to mainstream consumers who had no idea what was predicted by pundits in the first place. The cheaper iPod Touch will prove a good value in comparison with the Kindle Fire. The iPad 3 is right around the corner. And I wouldn’t be surprised if another Apple event or product updates sneak in between now and Christmas.

But I already miss Steve Jobs as a presenter. The master salesman, the pitch guy, the dude with the infectious passion who frames the presentations by all those other guys.

And so my disappointment also stems from the realization that yes – we are definitely in the post-Jobs era. Where it’s a little colder.